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Public or Common Carrier Defined


PUBLIC OR COMMON CARRIER DEFINED. A common carrier is one who under takes to carry the goods of all persons indifferently, or of such as choose to employ him, from place to place, by land or water, for reward. (Dwight v. Brewster, I Pick. 53.) To constitute a common carrier the person must hold himself out to the world as such, and must take all per sons or goods offered under such reasonable regula tions as he may prescribe. (Fish v. Clark, 49 N. Y. 122.) Further, the carriage must be for reward, as a gratui toes carriage does not call for extraordinary liability on the part of the carrier, he being simply a mandatary. But the recompense may be expressly stipulated or rea sonably implied; and slight circumstances will suffice to raise the implication that the carriage is to be for reward. (Pierce v. Railroad Co.., 23 Wis. 387.) In this case an express company returning empty packages charge was held to be doing it for reward, as the return of the package was paid for and incident to the first shipment.

It is the general undertaking to transport for the public that fixes the character of the employment as that of a carrier, and not the particular name he may assume. Thus, forwarding express companies are car riers. (Buckland v. Adams Ex. Co., 97 Mass. 124; 15 Minn. 124.) So the carriage may be by any sort of con veyance, on land or water, and be from place to place, or from different points in the same town. (Schouler, Bail., Sec. 322.) And the courts take judicial notice of the fact that certain agencies usually engaged in the transportation of goods are common carriers. (Hutch inson, Carriers, Sec. 73.)

reward and carriage